by Steve Earle
Released: Jan 1987
If you ever find yourself debating whether lyrics matter, offer up Steve Earle as proof positive that they really do count. Earle’s gritty twang should have been embraced by country music fans, but his lyrics were often too left-leaning to fit in, especially during the combustible Reagan years. Exit 0 is the sound of a man letting go, as "The Week of Living Dangerously" attests. It is life’s blueprint for loners ("Angry Young Man," "It's All Up to You") and losers ("Nowhere Road") and what it means to struggle ("The Rain Came Down," "I Ain’t Ever Satisfied") — and man, it slices deep.